I’m not one to be diplomatic. Motherhood shocked me, shook the Earth under my feet and sort of… woke me up- Woke me up to a world I knew nothing about, although surprisingly I’d been preparing for it for 37 whole weeks. No matter how much I’d read, watched videos on parenting, been counselled and guided- The moment that little baby was handed over to me wrapped in a bundle of cloth, I was clueless, blank as a slate. I’d laboured for over 10 hours and I was tired, physically and mentally from the whole exercise of delivering a baby, I was high on oxytocin from the final pushes and all I wanted was to sleep.
But what I was expected to do- was wake up. Feed the baby every 2 hours, monitor urine counts, change diapers, oh yes- and of course take care of myself too. But that came last. Now, this I was not prepared for- to put everything about me LAST- the pain, the exhaustion, the stitches, the bleeding. I remember asking at some point in the first week- what should I do today? which seems most important – eat, sleep or bathe? Yes there were days I chose sleep over food, most days it was food over anything else- bathing had to be done at some point, so maybe when I was the most tired, but at least full with food
And it didn’t stop here- then came the first odd coloured poo, the first vaccination, the doctor’s visits for weight check and gyneac visits for postpartum check ups- I, as a person took the back seat further and further more as I as a mother, took the centrestage. And it happened so instinctively, so naturally that it shocked the wits out of me,
To all new mothers, who come here looking for some advice, some consolation- I can give you none, rather none better than your natural, motherly instinct can. There will be a lot of advice that comes your way, from social media, from elders (the most dangerous one of all) and from well wishers. I have only one thing to say, get informed, make decisions that your instincts agree to and the tough phases will pass.
To breastfeed or not,
let the baby cry it out or soothe the baby,
rock the baby or not,
walk the baby or let them lay on the bed,
nappies or diapers or MCDs,
tummy time when awake, sleep on the back,
wear your baby,
keep a nanny,
do it all yourself,
kajal in the eyes, prasad in the mouth,
superstitious black dots and threads,
rituals and ceremonies
so much to decide, so quickly, for the sake of a new life that is now your responsibility
YOUR MOTHERHOOD INSTINCT HAS BEEN SHOCKED AWAKE, naturally. WAKE UP, . Take control and decide. Motherhood gives you the power and you should take on the challenge head-on.